For a long time, the Super Bowl has been my bête noire. Let me explain …
Many (many) years ago I was married to an American man to whom I shall refer as “Beelzebob.” (Digression: Originally “Beelzebub” meant “Lord of the Flies,” though after Christianity rooted, it became another name for the Devil. If you caught the slight change in the spelling, you can probably guess what his name was. 🙂 ) Beelzebob, a football (American) fan extraordinaire, insisted we “observe” (?!) the Super Bowl yearly. Admittedly Beelzebob was probably trying to instill a love of the Super Bowl (don’t hold your breath), what he did made it my enemy.
First: I’ve never understood the game nor cared that I didn’t understand it. Though raised in the U.S., my Norwegian mother would never let us watch American football. “A ridiculous game,” she described it, “… grown men chasing each other and wrestling in the mud like pigs.” (Real football to her was, of course, soccer.) My American father thought spectator sports a waste of one’s time; our family hiked, sailed, camped, fished, etc. In dad’s leisure time, you’d find him in the garage building something or back yard renovating a sail boat (we lived on the water). Dad would have had no use for a “man cave,” which, as I’ve heard them described, revolve around a huge TV and a comfortable arm chair.
Second: The Super Bowl interfered with my knitting. Though I had no interest in and only the barest understanding of the rules of American football, Beelzebub insisted we either attend or host yearly Super Bowl parties. Adding to that torture, he was adamant that I not knit during them. (Imagine my difficulty trying to (1) stay awake, and (2) look even marginally interested in the game.) When I asked why, his answer was that knitting was an insult to the game and would offend guests/hosts. Seeing the dubious look on my face, he added, “It’s a guy thing you wouldn’t understand.” (Hmmm.)
Third: The Super Bowl interfered with my birthday. For the few years I was married to Beelzebob, the Super Bowl seemed to fall either on, directly before or directly after my birthday. While Beelzebob could name every player of every team in the Super Bowl and recite each player’s major playing feats, he never remembered my birthday. I received nary a birthday card, present or wish from him while we were together. Oddly enough, he seemed unaware that I actually aged.
After I left him and filed for divorce, he popped by my house on my birthday. Walking into the kitchen, he could see that I was busy cooking up a storm. (Nothing got by him.)
“Why are you cooking all this,” he asked, eying the baskets of vegetables on the counter.
“I have some people coming for dinner tonight,” I replied, feeling a tad tempted by the sharp knife I held in my hand.
“What for?” Beelzebub asked, snagging a carrot to munch on.
“It’s my birthday today,” I replied, trying not to roll my eyes and still tempted by the knife, “and stop eating my food.”
“What? Your birthday? I didn’t know today’s your birthday! How old are you anyway – 27?”
My eyes were now moving to bigger and sharper knives.
Biting the inside of my cheek, I confirmed, “Yes. Today is indeed my birthday. I was 27 when I met you, so I couldn’t possibly be 27 now, now could I?” (Sarcasm.)
“Wow – so you’re in your 30s?” he asked in awe. (Brilliant powers of deduction.)
“Yes, I am … don’t you have to go somewhere?” (I am the mistress of subtle hints.)
“But I don’t remember us ever celebrating your birthday,” he said, a rather bewildered look on his face.
I felt I might just explode. Instead I said, “That’s right – we never did. That is only one of the many reasons I’m divorcing you.”
I started shepherding him out of my kitchen. “Please leave,” I said, pointing to the front door with the knife.
As he stepped through the doorway, he turned and said, “I didn’t get an invitation. What time’s the party?”
I slammed the front door so hard the frame popped off.
Now Thor will, from time to time, watch various sporting events on the TV. But he doesn’t insist I sit next to him or care if I like or even understand the rules of whatever game he’s watching; if I do sit in the room he doesn’t care if I knit, spin or read; he doesn’t care if I go out. And the man never forgets my birthday. 🙂
So truce, Super Bowl. I don’t know what Thor’s doing tomorrow, but I will be knitting with the local guild. 🙂